E2 Visa Lawyer - Frear Law

E2 Visa Lawyer

We proudly help entrepreneurs across the globe who want to start or expand a business in the US.

About the E2 Visa

The Nationality Requirement

In order to qualify for an E2 Investor Visa, your country of nationality must have an E2 Visa treaty in place with the United States. Fortunately, many major countries are on list. The countries that have the E2 Visa Treaty in place include Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Spain, France, Australia, Mexico, Israel, Ireland, Germany, South Korea, New Zealand, Italy, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Philippines, Argentina and many more. There are some powerhouse countries that sadly do not have an E2 Visa Treaty with the United States. These countries include China, Russia & Brazil.

The E2 Visa Investment

In order to qualify for an E2 Visa, you will have to make a "substantial" investment in a for profit commercial enterprise in the United States. The commercial enterprise could include a business that you are building from the ground up. It could also include a franchise or an existing business that you would like to purchase.

Before you apply for the E2 Visa you will have to invest enough money to ensure that the business will be a success. The amount that is necessary for success will vary depending on the type of business that you will be running. For example, a service business such as a law firm, a consulting company or a mobile car detailing business will require much less operating capital than a manufacturing plant. While there is no minimum investment amount, this does not mean that any investment will suffice. The focus of the applicant should be on investing an amount of money that can create a successful business.

In addition to investing a sum of money that will make your business success likely, you will also have to commit your money to the business. This means that you cannot simply form a US business, transfer some money to a US bank account and apply for the E2 Visa. You must pay for everything that you need to launch before you apply.

Before you decide on a business in which to invest, you should understand the marginality rule for the E2 Visa. This rule requires you to design your business so that it will provide support other US workers. A business that can only provide support for you and your family will be considered marginal and will not qualify for the E2 Visa.

There are many benefits that are associated with the E2 Visa. These benefits include the ability to renew your visa indefinitely and the ability to obtain work authorization for your spouse.

The Application Process

There are a few different ways to apply for the E2 Visa.

E2 Visa Application Through USCIS

If you are already in the United States in lawful status, your E2 Visa Lawyer could help you file for a change of status through USCIS using form I-129. However, it is oftentimes more convenient to apply for the E2 Visa in your home country.

There are a few reasons why most E2 Visa Lawyers prefer this route. First, E2 Visa Applications that are made through the consulate are generally decided more quickly. It is possible to receive a quick decision from USCIS(within 15 days). However, you will have to pay a hefty premium processing fee for a speedy decision.

Additionally, when you travel outside of the US, you will have to apply with the consulate in order to re enter the US on the E2 Visa. Therefore, it usually makes sense to simply obtain initial approval through a US Consulate or Embassy.

E2 Visa Application Through a US Consulate

If you decide, after consulting with an E2 Visa Lawyer, to apply through the consulate, you will start by visiting their website. You want to do this because consulates are very particular about the manner in which applicants must apply. After gaining an understanding of how the process works, you can apply by submitting form DS-160 and form DS-156E along with your supporting documentation. You will then be scheduled for an interview. If all goes well, you will then be granted an E2 Visa. Once you have the Visa, you will present it upon entry into the US. Normally, you will be given an I-94 granting you a two year period of authorized status.

E2 Visa Blog Posts


Common E2 Visa Questions

In order to get an E2 Visa as an investor, you will need to make a qualifying investment in a US based business. You will then apply for the E2 Visa through the consulate in your home country or file for a change of status through USCIS.

There is no minimum investment amount for the E2 Visa. However, you will have to make a substantial investment that shows your commitment to the business. For a lower cost business(ie. under $100,000), you will likely need to commit the entire investment to the business before applying for the E2 Visa.

A substantial investment for the E2 Visa equals the amount of money that is needed to make the business a success. This amount will vary depending on the type of business that is being started. For example, a manufacturing plant will require a multimillion dollar investment while a service based business, such as a digital marketing agency will require a much smaller investment.

Yes. One major benefit of the E2 Visa is that an E2 dependent spouse qualifies for work authorization.

You can find a full list of E2 Visa Countries here.

There is no direct path from the E2 Visa to a Green Card. However, there are some green card options for qualifying investors. For example, if your investment qualifies for an Eb5 green card based on the investment amount and the jobs that your business has created, then you could get a green card through the Eb5 program. You may also obtain a green card if you fall under other employment based green card categories. These categories may include eb1 or the eb2(national interest waiver).

About Frear Law PLLC

My name is Ben Frear. I am a business immigration lawyer and the founder of Frear Law PLLC.  My practice serves and celebrates inspiring immigrant entrepreneurs and other world class performers. If you would like to learn about how my firm could help you, please feel free to reach out to me!